Tag Archives: fall

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

October is National Cookie Month!  Aside from baking this delicious recipe, we are also celebrating with a Sweet Stackers Facebook GIVEAWAY!  This is the perfect chance to try out a NEW way store and transport layers of baked goods in one container.  Sweet Stackers are designed to fit major brand containers and are versatile, reusable and economical!  Imagine storing your Christmas cookies and holiday desserts neatly.

Check out our video of storing these frosted Pumpkin Cookies using Sweet Stackers…

So visit the Sweet Stackers Facebook page to enter in this easy contest!  A winner will be picked on 10/16/2014.  Now back from the commercial break and onto this perfectly delicious cookie recipe to celebrate the fall season!  Who wouldn’t like the combination of spicy pumpkin and the lightly sweet cream cheese frosting?  It will be hard to only eat one!

SS Frosted Cookie Storage

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together at a high speed.  Add the egg, vanilla and pumpkin.  Turn the speed of mixing down and gradually add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Stir in the pecans.

Using a cookie scoop, drop a tablespoonful of dough 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

(note: after 10 minutes, I removed from the oven and gently pressed the cookies flat with a flat spatula, otherwise the cookies are puffed like a pillow.  Bake for an additional 2 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.)  Let cool completely.

For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

Frost the cookies and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Sweet Stackers Layer Cookies

Sweet Stackers are a great way to store your baked goods in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from sticking together!


Apple Harvest Bars

Do you love the chill in the air, the change of color?  All reminders that it is apple harvest time!  This recipe will remind you of apple pie, but in dessert bar form.  Layers of a buttery crust, spiced apples and a lightly sweet topping.  Let the aroma fill your kitchen!

Apple Harvest Bars2

Apple Harvest Bars

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 2-3 large apples)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375° and grease a 9 x 13″ baking pan.

In a food processor, add flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt, pulsate once to combine.  Add butter and pulse a few times until the mixture turns to dry crumbs.  Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

In a medium bowl, toss the sliced apples in lemon juice.  Arrange the apples slices in rows on top of the crust.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Sprinkle over the layer of apples.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the coconut, egg, condensed milk, vanilla and pecans in a medium bowl.  Remove the pan from the oven and spoon the coconut mixture evenly over the layer of apples.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the coconut is golden brown.

Slightly cool in pan and cut into bars while still warm.

Apple Harvest Bars Sweet Stackers

The aroma of apple pie fills the house!

Apple Harvest Bars Dessert Container

Tip:  Cut dessert bars ahead of time to make an easy-to-serve dessert. Sweet Stackers layer your baked goods in one container so they are ready to serve or transport to a party!  Visit sweetstackers.com to learn how you can convert your containers to multi-level.


Acorn Squash Ricotta Tart

Simply Savory are two words to describe this tart made with Acorn Squash, Caramelized Onions and Ricotta Cheese.

Winter Squash Tart

It is the season for winter squash and there are so many different ways to prepare them.  This rustic tart is perfect for fall!  Wouldn’t it even make an impressive side dish on the table for Thanksgiving dinner?

The tasty, crumbly crust was easy to make and only used a handful of ingredients.  Using a food processor, the dough came together and was in my fridge within a couple of minutes – tops!

In the past, I have been turned off from buying winter squash because they can be difficult to handle, peel and cut when raw.  Today, I softened the squash by piercing it 4- 5 times, then placing it in the microwave for about 7 minutes.  The outside of the squash was slightly softened , which made it much easier to cut in half lengthwise.  Once it was halved, the seeds and strings were removed.  The squash could be sliced further and the skin removed.

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor and pulse 2 times to mix the ingredients.  While the processor is running, drizzle the olive oil and water into the flour mixture.  The dough will start to form a crumble.  Remove and knead the dough together.  Form a disk and wrap it in parchment or wax paper.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Tart Filling:
1 acorn squash (or any winter squash)
1  red onion; thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 lemon squeezed
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
fresh thyme, salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450°.  Cut squash into large diced pieces.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet in one layer.  Toss the sliced onion in the remaining olive oil and place next to the squash.  Salt and pepper the squash and onions.  Bake for 25 minutes.

While waiting, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon and thyme in a small bowl.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and press into a round 9″ tart pan.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough.  Once the squash and onions have been caramelized, remove from the oven, reduce the heat to 400°.  Place the squash and onion on top of the ricotta mixture.  Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 400° for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Rustic Squash and Carmelized Onion Tart

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

We have already seen our first “real” snowfall and the mornings are dark, chilly and getting hard to get out of bed.  Tomorrow, I will have a warm comforting breakfast awaiting me in my fridge.  Yes, I said warm, because you can heat this up so quickly – being convinced that you have made a comforting homemade breakfast even though you baked it last night.

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal can be made in an 8×8 pan, but I prefer to bake it in a 12 count muffin tin.  This produces these cute little portions of oatmeal that are easy to refrigerate and heat up in a pinch.

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

  • 1 – 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Coat a 12-count muffin tin with cooking spray.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Using an ice cream scoop, evenly fill each muffin cup with a scoop of the oatmeal mixture.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  Serve hot right out of the oven or refrigerate the baked oatmeal portions.  A quick breakfast for days to come!

The oatmeal can be served warm with a drizzle of milk or maple syrup.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

This is, by far, my favorite time of the year!  There is something about the fresh crisp air, the hues of rust & orange, and the smell coming from my kitchen.  Somehow, I become obsessed with pumpkin.  In fact I am constantly stocking up my pantry with canned pumpkin as if I am not going to find pumpkin until next fall.  I love cooking and baking with it….pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie to pumpkin soup, oh my!

Last week I saw a tweet for Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies.  Funny enough I “heard” Pumpkin Cheesecake and the cravings started.  I didn’t even realize at first that this was a cookie recipe.  But creamy pumpkin cheesecake in the form of a chewy cookie…I must try!  The recipe came from Jennie via her The  Messy Baker Blog.  (sounds like she is just as obsessed with pumpkin as I am!)  What a yummy and super easy recipe!

Sweet Stackers Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

I can’t even explain how good the house smelled while I was baking these cookies!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

These cookies were very moist and chewy, definitely more “cake-like”.  When they came out of the oven, I pressed them a bit to flatten them with my cookie spatula.  Then transferred them to a cookie rack to cool completely.

Sweet Stackers Fall Cookies

After they were completely cooled, they should be stored in a air-tight container and separated so they don’t stick together.  In The Messy Baker Blog, it was mentioned to separate them using parchment paper.  This is why I designed Sweet Stackers – reusable trays that fit inside air-tight food storage containers to separate and stack cookies.

I was easily able to fit 36 – 2 inch sized cookies in a 9″ x 12″ container in three layers!

Holiday cookie baking is right around the corner – visit my website Sweet Stackers!

Pumpkin Muffins – two ingredients?

Muffins with only two ingredients?  I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was totally skeptical!  So now that I tried it – get out that healthy can of pumpkin and celebrate autumn!

Kid & Mom approved – great snack for a lunch box or afterschool treat.

Pumpkin Muffins

For this batch, I used a chocolate cake box mix and one 15 ounce can of pumpkin.  With an electric mixer, combine the ingredients.  Add a couple of tablespoons of milk to moisten the batter if needed.  For kicks, add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice…spice it up!  With a little research you can use any flavor of cake.  I am sure that spice cake would be pretty yummy.

For mini-muffins:  Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Store these moist cupcakes using Sweet Stackers stackable food storage trays.  The trays separate and divide your food items in one container without a mess – visit sweetstackers.com!

Sour Cream Apple Bars

Fall is in the air and it’s time to celebrate the apple harvest!  This recipe produced a comforting, warm right-out-of-the-oven, scrumptious dessert – perfect on a gloomy fall-like day.

Sour Cream Apple Bars

Sour Cream Apple Bars


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3 apples (2 cups), unpeeled, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Combine the softened butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add the remaining crust ingredients until well combined.

Press half of the crust into an ungreased 9×13 pan and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.

Mix all of the filling ingredients by hand.  Pour the filling over the partially baked crust.  Crumbled the remaining crust on top and press down lightly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Cool completely before cutting into bars (or carefully sneak one out).

Store in the refrigerator.

Sweet Stackers - Sour Cream Apple Bars

Dessert bars like these Sour Cream Apple Bars store neatly in one air-tight container using Sweet StackersTM stackable trays.  Stores perfectly in the refrigerator without a mess and transports easy to a party.  Visit my website for more information sweetstackers.com!

Pumpkin Pie Granola

A healthy way to start the morning with the flavor of pumpkin pie!  Yummy!

Here is a great way to use up your pie pumpkin and their seeds!  My last post describes how I roasted pumpkin.  This pumpkin pie granola is made with oats, almonds, roasted pumpkin and pumpkin seeds and a little sweetness from pure maple syrup.  The special ingredient is flavoring it with pumpkin pie spice!

Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Pie Granola

4 C old fashioned oats

1/2 C sliced almonds

1/4 C roasted pumpkin seeds

2 TB butter

1/4 C pure maple syrup

4 heaping TB fresh roasted pumpkin or pumpkin puree

1 TB pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, almonds and roasted pumpkin seeds.  In a small mixing bowl melt the butter, then add pure maple syrup, roasted pumpkin, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Mash up the roasted pumpkin into the mixture.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until all of the dry ingredients have been coated evenly.  Spread onto two cookie sheets.

Bake in a 350° oven for 10 minutes, then stir.  Bake for another 10-15 minutes until they start to turn golden brown.

Pumpkin Soup

We woke up to our first dusting of snow.  A perfect day to enjoy a comforting bowl of homemade pumpkin soup to celebrate the season!

We had a few small sugar or pie pumpkins leftover from Halloween decor.  I finally decided to use them for my cooking and baking.  It is so easy, but the hardest part is cutting the pumpkin.  I roasted the pumpkin by cutting them in half, scooping out the stringy pulp and seeds and then laying them cut side down in a low roasting pan with a 1/4″ of water on the bottom of the pan.  I baked in a 400° for one hour.  I now have enough roasted pumpkin for soup and two pies, plus some that I will freeze for my pumpkin pancakes.

Pumpkin Soup

4 TB butter

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 apple, peeled and diced

4 C fresh pumpkin, roasted and diced

1 TB thyme leaves

6 C chicken stock

1 C plain yogurt

1/2 C half & half

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a large dutch oven and add onions, carrots, apple and pumpkin.  Sautee on medium heat until the veggies and fruit are softened, stirring often.  Sprinkle the dried thyme over the mixture, then add chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Puree the soup using a blender or immersion blender.  Soup tastes great if served like this or cream it up by adding yogurt and half & half.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  Soup can be frozen for later use.

Pomegranate Chopped Salad

This salad is perfect for fall and winter because pomegranates are in season.  Since the summer, I have been trying to pick a “new” fruit or vegetable with my kids.  “New” which means we have never bought it, chopped it or cooked it before.  So I brought this fruit home and wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I searched the internet and decided that my approach would be to remove the seeds in water.

I really enjoyed the combination of sweet and tart in this salad and it was a big hit with my kids who are really not into eating green leaf salads yet.  This would make a beautiful salad for serving when company comes over for the holidays.

Sweet and Tart Salad

Dressing ingredients:

1/3 C fresh lime juice

1/3 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. sugar

Salad ingredients:

6 C. chopped greens (romaine, etc.)

1 Fugi or Granny Smith apple, cored and diced

1/3 C dried cranberries

1/3 C pomegranate seeds

In a small bowl,  whisk together all ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.  Drizzle with dressing, toss to coat and serve.